CHINO -- Class sizes, a new charter school and declining enrollment are just a few obstacles the Chino Valley Unified School District could be facing in the near future.

During a budget study session with school board members last week, Chino Valley Unified officials discussed the district's possible roadblocks when it comes to its multi-year fiscal outlook as well as the possibility of a monetary gain from Gov. Jerry Brown's "local control funding formula."

Pending the legislative approval, Brown's idea would provide additional funds to school districts with low-income students and English learners, with the caution they will have to show student improvements.

The district -- advised by the San Bernardino County superintendent -- however, is not waiting around to see if the governor's proposal to boost education funding comes true.

Their projections don't include what could be an additional $5.4 million.

"What the governor proposed to us in January was meant to give district local control and now ... what's changed is that he's come out with a ton of accountabilities, meaning the funds will be somewhat restricted on how you use them," said Sandra Chen, Chino Valley Unified's assistant superintendent of business services.


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"Not only that, on an annual basis you need to show the state how you improved the achievement of your English learners and free and reduced (meals) population. If do you not show improvement, you will be put on a remedial plan and subject to losing funds."

The district's fiscal outlook shows a positive beginning and ending balance but it continues to spend more than what is expected in revenue.

The 2013-14 school year budget shows the district starting out with $51.8 million, but leaving it $13.9 million in the red.

The 2014-15 budget shows an $8.6 million shortfall, and in 2015-16 the district's beginning balance is $29.1 million but still has deficit spending by $9 million. A new charter school is being considered next month by the state Board of Education, which could potentially cause Chino Valley Unified to lose 810 of its students.

Superintendent Wayne Joseph told the board the state and federal governments are very charter friendly.

"Chances are they will be approved," he said. "We are doing our best to try to have our people speak at the state board showing what the deficiencies are with the charter petition, but chances are it will probably happen, based on past history."

For school districts, students equal money. The state allocates funds to districts based on the number of kids -- fewer students to Chino Valley Unified means less money.

The charter school, if approved, would open in the district in the 2014-15 school year.

Also come the 2014-15 school year will be the expiration of "class size reduction" flexibility. The program was designed to allow only a certain number of students per teacher.

For a couple of years, primarily due to the bad economy, the state granted districts the ability to increase their class sizes in kindergarten through third grade. Many districts found themselves having to lay off teachers and as a result they also found themselves having to increase class sizes, or even create combination classes.

But come June 2014, that deal will be gone and districts will have to find a way to afford enough teachers to meet the program's expectations.

Chino Valley Unified board members are expected to meet Thursday to discuss their budget and possibly approve it.

The next budget study session will be Aug. 8 at the district office.